As January 2020 comes to a close, I think of all the changes I have experienced. Some good and some not so good. Currently I love teaching for an online company (you can email me if you would like to know more) and I am enjoying writing. Both things I can do from home. In the area where I am teaching the kids are on holiday so there is a huge slow down. It’s fine, I just will continue with my writing. I am also working on my photography skills.
I am no longer a 7:30 am to 5:00 pm teacher, those hours have burnt me out. As much as I loved that, I need to care for Avah first. Having a child that is classified as medically fragile changes everything. At the moment she is doing very well, we want to keep it that way. So no daycare, no just going where ever, when ever. We pack sanitizer, we ask people to not interact with her if they have been around ill people or have been ill recently. I cringe when random people walk up to us and just start talking. Recently I have been wearing my micropreemie mom hoodie and people are not grabbing on or touching her. She has been well so far and I am not going to let that lull me into bad habits.
So, changes have been both good and bad. The bad is, I am not making the money that I had been. It takes time to build up my student list. I am hoping that with my TSOL and TEFL certifications I will have a healthy clientele by June. I hope to finish one of my short books by June and my longer book by September.
I am beat. Tired, and wish I could get some sleep, to bad I have had nightmares every night for the past few days. I just went through my materials for my next couple of classes (10pm, 5:30pm, 4AM, and 4AM) I am surprised that I have lessons on Chinese New Year. My students are rolling in slowly, but they are coming. I must be doing something right.
Today was alright. I fought a headache through most of it. I think my poor mom about had a heart attack after I took more Tylenol (9 total so far for the day). It was hardly touching it. I have migraines and tension headaches that can throw me off my game. Luckily my hair was on point, I like jeans and t-shirts, and I am tough. Because today was the day Avah had to go to “town” to see her awesome doctor.
Avah was able to get her synergis shot. It, I repeat, it is not a vaccine and it is a monthly dose of antibodies to combat RSV. RSV can be deadly to preemies and micropreemies. [Respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-uhl) virus, or RSV, is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Most people recover in a week or two, but RSV can be serious, especially for infants and older adults. In fact, RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs) in children younger than 1 year of age in the United States. It is also a significant cause of respiratory illness in older adults. http://www.cdc.gov]. Hence the fact that I am no longer teaching in a public school setting. Sorry, people send their kids to school sick all the time. I will not sacrifice my child’s health and well-being for a job. Don’t get me wrong I love teaching and that is why I am teaching from home.
Back to my day. Since we were in “town” we also had to get lunch, go to Joann Fabric, then WinCo (where I ran into one of my favorite people), then Staples, and then North 40. Avah survived the excursion. My head finally quit pounding and I was able to get all of PW’s birthday invites finished. I am so thankful for my mom today, she is one of my favorite people to go places with.
It has been over seven months since Avah was born and I am beginning to allow myself to feel. I shut a lot of emotion out and did not allow myself to completely deal with what was happening. The last couple of days I have had some very intense flashbacks and anxiety. My research tells me this is normal. However, it is extremely difficult to function like my normal self. Just looking at the early pictures and video of Avah cause an intense reaction. I look at her now and she is what grounds me. She giggles and grabs my fingers, almost like she is telling me it is okay to feel overwhelmed, but she is here and strong.
Watching your child be born is intense. I delivered Avah in our bathroom. My husband was on the phone with 911. The amazing ambulance crew came as fast as volunteer EMTs can. I held Avah and thought she was going to die. She was so tiny and this terrible color. I held her close and was terrified. Those emotions and shock are now coming back to the surface. It is so intense that I am really dealing with some tough emotional weight.
Avah was lifeflighted to the nearest hospital and I remember bits and pieces of the ambulance ride. I am so thankful that my husband was able to ride with me. That I had the most fantastic ambulance crew, I love each and every one of them. Julia my HS volleyball coach, Dave a local farmer, Shari my favorite nurse, and Bruce the man who drove my dad to the hospital when he was having a heart attack.
The picture to the left is when the hospital staff was working to save her life. The next lifeflight crew was on the way. She was grasping our fingers and in critical condition. She was so small. The nun that was on duty prayed with us. I am still fuzzy on many details. My head is still trying to sort things out. I am so thankful that the right people were put in place that night.
Avah spent 99 days in the NICU at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital. I am so thankful for the doctors, nurses, RTs, pts, and the Ronald McDonald house. She has had eye surgeries, she has come close to death, but she is strong. Everyday she was in the NICU she fought. In my other posts I have talked about life in the NICU. It is hard. There are times you feel like you are alone. There are times when it is overwhelming. The times that you feel helpless and hopeless are the worst.
Bringing Avah home brought back the emotional battle that I am facing now. That late spring night when I held my helpless baby. The feelings I have hid for so long. Now I am facing them. I am finding my way through the weight of emotions.
Today I look at Avah playing with her play gym and I am in awe about the power of prayer. How God works through people. Everyday I am healing more.
Micropreemies and preemies have issues with constipation. Oh it is so not fun. We have been struggling with Avah since we started her on formula in the NICU. To increase her weight she was put on some high calorie food. So, what happens when we eat stuff that is chock full of calories? It makes it difficult for them to go number 2! So, in the NICU she had glycerin suppositories and stimulation. We ended up with prune juice added to her diet. It helps.
Fast forward, we are still on a higher calorie formula and she is still having issues. So now to combat this we are having a little dark Kayro syrup in her bottle daily and using an ounce of prune juice if she is super constipated. So far a little dark Kayro syrup every day is keeping the constipation away. Less tummy problems, equal happy baby. So, a win for mom and baby girl.
2019 changed my perspective. I went from Yahoo! we bought our house, to OMG we are pregnant!, to GOD help us I just delivered at 24 weeks, to welcome to the NICU life and the Ronald McDonald house, to time to take her home. Having a micro preemie changes you. You spend hours and days in the NICU. You learn medical terminology, watch you infant fight for their life, you become friends with nurses, and it breaks you, but it also rebuilds you.
I am still reeling from the rollercoaster. I thought I had lots of support from my employer to well, I am not even sure. What I am sure of is that I love teaching and have found a platform where I can teach students from home. I hope within the next few months I can expand from the current platform to another.
The change has been good. I changed up my dining room/office to be more functional. I am working on improving my teaching style without the burnout I was finding with the tons of paperwork a special education teacher has. I take time to plan lessons and learn a foreign language, Chinese! Yes, for this new job my day starts early, but it is so worth it. I even have extra time.
What to do with the extra time? I am able to craft, work on my photography skills, write, and read books. Things I didn’t really have time for before. I know that this is the right move for us because I am happy. For the last several years my hubbs and I have wanted to take pictures and create beauty but between our schedules we never had the time. Now I set my schedule to fit his and we are able to grab the baby and go. So, do what you love and love what you do!
Highschool me: Oooooh my god, I can’t wait to be an adult. Me at 37: Oh MY F****** god, what the F*** am I going to make the kid and me for dinner? Highschool me: Mammm what’s for dinner, I am starving. Me at 37: I don’t know what to cook for dinner. He wants pizza. She gets a bottle. I just want to go to bed.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook and when I am in the mood to cook, damn yum! Lately however as the groceries dwindle because we live out in the middle of nowhere and my hubs takes the good car to work. I have to try to think ahead. Luckily my mom and dad came out and brought lunch and left the leftovers for me. So dinner tonight is taken care of. Now some of you may be like just call delivery, well there is no delivery service in the boonies. The closest Pizza Hut, Dominos, and chinese restaurants are about an hour away.
So, I am stuck with, leftovers that will last us one night. Luckily we have plans on Saturday so I don’t have to worry much that night. But this is the rest of my life. So, on nights when it is me and the boy, it might be cereal, mac and cheese, or some tasty thing I whipped up Martha style. On nights where it is the hubbs, the boy, and me I am thinking we all work together, because why the Hell is the “mom” always stuck answering the question of what the f*** is for dinner?
I could go all feminist about it but, no thanks, I think we are going to do equal shares in this house. Why? Why, not? So here is to all the moms and dads making changes to better their family. Tonight is Saturday so I am going to eat crab that I am not cooking because it is a date night.
Some days it is all beautiful, wonderful, sunshiny days and then the next, it feels like it is all shit! I am exhausted today and even with a nap, I don’t want to cook. My house looks like a bomb went off, and I have no energy to care. My baby is fussy, the dog is driving me batty, I have no will to do house work. The early mornings are catching up with me. Am I still living the dream?
My three goals: more time with my family, my own business, and to work from home. So, yes technically I am. No I don’t want a get rich scheme. No, I don’t want to join your pyramid scheme. I am not a stranger to hard work, I am just working on smart work. So, living the dream: comfortable work attire yes, setting my own schedule yes, making time for my three goals Yes, yes, yes.
My work attire for teaching my students is a nice pullover and my PJ pants. So, that works. Have I made money? Sure. I talked to my mom today and she reminded me that life is not all about money. I know this, but my anxiety crams a vice into my chest and crushing my heart. Then pulls me down into the abyss and I have to claw my way out. I can do it. I just have to remind myself that I am not alone.
So on beautiful days I will stand in my front yard and look out at the view and remind myself that I am a human and I will be okay!